New Tottenham stadium not ready for September opening
The redeveloped White Hart Lane has issues with “critical safety systems”.
Tottenham have announced the redeveloped White Hart Lane will not be ready for its planned opening next month, with two Premier League games and an NFL match relocated to Wembley.
Spurs issued a statement on Monday night announcing problems with “critical safety systems” meant the new stadium would not be able to host Liverpool on September 15, Cardiff on October 6 or the clash between the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders eight days later.
No timeline is in place, leaving an element of uncertainty over when the problems will be rectified and questions over when the club will begin life at the new 62,000-seater venue.
A safety licence must be granted before matches can be staged at the ground and that will not happen before test events – originally slated for August 27 and September 1 and now postponed – take place.
“Recent testing and commissioning has now shown issues with the critical safety systems,” read the statement.
“Urgent follow-up meetings with (stadium contractor) Mace and the trade contractors are now taking place. We are reviewing the situation and planned timetable to rectify and re-test, after which we shall be in a better position to outline a revised timetable.
“In the meantime, therefore, our upcoming Premier League matches against Liverpool (15 September) and Cardiff City (6 October) will be switched to Wembley, as will the NFL match scheduled for 14 October.”
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has asked for supporters to remain patient.
“We know this will be disappointing for all our season tickets holders, premium members and our fans worldwide,” he said.
“We appreciate the support our partner the NFL has shown since the extent of this issue became evident today.
“At the start of the project we asked for your support during what we knew would be a complex and challenging build and now we ask for your continue patience and forbearance.”
NFL executive vice-president Mark Waller said: “Everyone has been so excited about the prospect of playing in the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium and I know all at the club are very disappointed, but determined to clear this final hurdle.
“We totally understand the issue. We shall continue to work with them towards making our future games at Spurs a huge success.”
Tottenham host Fulham at Wembley on Saturday, a London derby which had always been scheduled to take place at the national stadium.